NCB On The Trail: Derrick Jones

Last weekend, Kentucky had about 90 NBA scouts on its campus for a practice that was televised on ESPNU -- yet this weekend will feature an even bigger event for the Wildcats.

Friday brings Big Blue Madness to Lexington, where the Kentucky faithful will pack Rupp Arena for their first look at the 2014-15 edition of the Wildcats, the likely preseason No. 1 team in the country. More important, it is also the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for John Calipari and Kentucky. Seven five-star prospects from the classes of 2015 and 2016 are expected on campus this weekend, in addition to four-star commit Charles Matthews.

Calipari and his staff haven’t tried to downplay the event to the prospective recruits, either.
Every summer prospects go out on the circuit to win, compete and improve with hopes to gain some exposure along the way. When evaluating, there are certain prospects who consistently show up and catch your eye with strong performances at a high level, affecting the outcome of a game.

Here are five players from the 2015 class whose stocks are on the rise in the all-important summer period.

1. Jaylen Brown

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Under Armour Finals: Day 4 recap 

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
SUWANEE, Ga. -- It was championship Saturday along with continued heated competition in the consolation brackets on the last day of the Under Armour Association Finals. The Grind Indy Hoosiers were the 15U champions, New Heights (N.Y.) was 16U champion and We R1 (Del.) was 17U champions.

Overall, there were many excellent individual performances on Saturday. Here are a few that stood out on Day 4.

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Reebok Classic Breakout took a backseat to no other event over the past 48 hours as the staff did a tremendous job of putting together a deep and talented roster, which in turn attracted over 200 Division I college coaches including dozens of high-profile head coaches. Here's a look at which players were most impressive throughout the first two days of action:

Best pure point guard: Derryck Thornton

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- There was a major buzz inside the gym of Philadelphia University as the clock struck 5 p.m. and the likes of John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Kevin Ollie, Larry Brown, John Beilein, Bo Ryan, and dozens of other high profile head coaches kicked off the July evaluation period at the Reebok Breakout Camp.

Marquee matchup

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The Class of 2015 is in its early stages of development as new prospects are being recognized weekly and more established prospects are working to keep their reputations intact. May is a time to evaluate and analyze the nation's best. We will update our rankings in June after we get a thorough evaluation and find the emerging talent in this class.

With six months to go before the early signing period here is an early preview of the Class of 2015:

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Pittsburgh Jam Fest recap 

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
PITTSBURGH -- The Hoop Group’s annual Pittsburgh Jam Fest brought hundreds of talented grassroots programs and college coaches alike to the Steel City for the only evaluation weekend of the spring.

The event also served as the opening of the season for the Under Armour Association, and it was a team making its UAA debut, New Heights, that ended up stealing the show on Sunday, winning championships in both the 16U and 17U divisions.

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Roundtable: Prospects to watch 

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
Last week we rolled out our updated ESPN 100, ESPN 60 and ESPN 25 player rankings, and while rankings are often the culmination of weeks and months of work and evaluations, it’s a never-ending process. The reality is that there are still a number of prospects our ESPN RecruitingNation staff is anxious to follow in the coming weeks and months. Here’s a look at some of the individual prospects our staff is especially interested in monitoring in the near future.

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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.

The Orangemen have done an excellent job at targeting underclassmen. The recently landed ESPN No. 12 Malachi Richardson (Hamilton, N.J./Trenton Catholic Academy) is an outstanding shooter with excellent size and incredible overall polish for a young prospect. Also committed is power forward Tyler Lydon (Pine Plains, N.Y. /New Hampton School).

ESPN No. 19 small forward Derrick Jones (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll High School) is a dynamic athlete and finisher who plays at the rim. They are also heavily involved and in the final six schools for Donte DiVincenzo (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum School) He is an AAU teammate of Richardson and they both play for Team Final.

Top 2015 SF Jones talks latest offers 

December, 22, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Among a star-studded group of prospects from the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016 taking part in the 12th annual Chick-fil-A Classic Holiday Basketball Tournament is junior small forward Derrick Jones (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll).

The No. 18 prospect in the class of 2015, the 6-foot-6 Jones is coveted by many of the nation’s top programs.

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- For the second consecutive year, the “Live in the A.C.” event offered AAU and grassroots teams an East Coast alternative to the Las Vegas tournaments that have historically served as one of the pillars of the summer evaluation period.

When the balls stopped bouncing on Friday after three days of action, We-R-1 had captured the U17 championship with a win over Expressions Elite, while Team Final Blue held off CIA Bounce in the U16 final.

Here are some of the top performances and notable recruiting news from the event, which included ESPN 100 prospects like Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell and fast-rising ESPN 60 recruit Derrick Jones.

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ESPN 60 SF picks up UK, KU offers 

July, 16, 2013
Derrick Jones (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll) had the type of week most kids can only dream about last week.

The 6-foot-6 rising junior swingman was already a top national prospect -- ranked No. 16 in the ESPN 60 -- and held scholarship offers from the likes of Syracuse, Villanova, Maryland, Seton Hall, Temple and St. Joseph’s even before the start of the annual July live evaluation period.

Then, in the span of just a few hours, things really escalated quickly.

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10 things learned at NBPA 100 Camp 

June, 17, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The NBPA Top 100 Camp wrapped up this weekend and while my colleague Paul Biancardi highlighted the top performances from the event, I’ll delve into some other recruiting observations from the star-studded event.

Among the takeaways was the continued emergence of 2015 center Cheick Diallo , Isaiah Whitehead's improving shot selection and Derrick Jones' bounce-back performance.

Here are the 10 things I learned while attending the NBPA 100 Camp.

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Top performers from NBPA 100 Camp 

June, 17, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – This year’s NBPA Top 100 Camp was littered with skilled prospects from top to bottom and was overall a very strong and deep collection of talent. Former NBA coach John Lucas served as the director of scouting at the camp, which annually attracts high-level prep prospects from all over the country.

The contests were extremely competitive as the players really took pride in their performances. Making the most noise at the camp were the event’s big men, who stood out due to their length in blocking and altering shots, overall efforts in rebounding and ability to run the floor and finish. Several, like center Stephen Zimmerman and Thon Maker, also displayed advanced passing and ballhandling skills.

Let's take a look at the final impressions from the NBPA 100 Camp.

Best performers

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